Why Is My Nail Infected?


An infected nail can occur when the nail becomes ingrown in the side of the skin. A sign that a nail is infected is pain, swelling, redness, bleeding or appearance of pus.

Patients at our clinic in Mount Hawthorn often ask why the nail is infected. This can happen through improper cutting of the nail. The nail should be cut straight across and filed. This can also happen if the nail becomes damaged such as dropping an object, being stepped on or wearing tight fitting shoes.

What can I do to help the infected nail?

Keep the nail clean and dry. Avoid putting weight on the area such as running, jumping and kicking, reduce things that put pressure on the nail like tight shoes.

How can a podiatrist help an infected toe nail?

At Rivervale Podiatry, we will assess the toenail and work with you to find the cause of the problem. If the infection is minor, the ingrown part of the nail can be removed easily.

If the infection is severe, the podiatrist can refer you to the GP for anti biotics. However for the pain to be resolved, the ingrown part of the nail must be removed by the podiatrist for permanent relief.

If the piece of nail is ingrown near the base of the nail, further intervention may be necessary. A ingrown toenail surgery may be advised. This procedure involves removing a slice of nail to the base, to prevent the nail from growing back. A chemical is applied to prevent the nail from growing back.

This procedure is advised if the nail becomes ingrown repeatedly. We don’t like to see people getting repeat infections, so we aim to provide you with a permanent solution if this has happened more than once.

Unfortunately, if you suffer from a chronic condition such as diabetes or blood clotting/thinning disorders, surgery may not be advised. In this case, regular treatment and maintenance by the podiatrist is advised.

We will also show you how to take care of the nail at home and advise on the optimal time to return to your activities safely.

If your toenail is painful, red or there is blood between the nail and the skin, please call our clinic in mount hawthorn to get help in the early stages of this condition.

At Oxford Street Podiatry we love fixing feet. Call us today if you live or work in Mount Hawthorn, North Perth or Leederville!